HEVERLEE WAR CEMETERY
HEVERLEE WAR CEMETERY
- Identified Casualties:
Heverlee War Cemetery is located 30 kilometres from Brussels and 3 kilometres south of Leuven. Turn left out of Leuven railway station onto the Tiensevest (ring road R 23). Follow the Tiensevest through the junctions Tiensepoort and Parkpoort and along the Naamsepoort. Turn left at the Naamsepoort onto the Naamsesteenweg (N251), signposted Namen, Waver and Heverlee. Continue until you cross the railway line at Heverlee and take the first left turn into the Hertogstraat. Follow Hertogstraat to the end and turn right at the Sport Hall onto the Kerspelstraat. Continue down the Kerspelstraat until you come to a crossroads at which the cemetery is located.
Wheelchair access to this cemetery is possible via the main entrance. For further information regarding wheelchair access, please contact our Enquiries Section on telephone number 01628 507200. February 2013 Note : Branches are falling from the oak trees at the cemetery. As a precautionary measure Heverlee War Cemetery has been taped off from the right hand chapel along the right hand plots up to the back.
The British Expeditionary Force was involved in the later stages of the defence of Belgium following the German invasion in May 1940, and suffered many casualties in covering the withdrawal to Dunkirk. Commonwealth forces did not return until September 1944, but in the intervening years, many airmen were shot down or crashed in raids on strategic objectives in Belgium, or while returning from missions over Germany.
The original burial ground at Heverlee was on the opposite side of the lane. It was used after the liberation for burials from the 101st British General Hospital, which was then housed in Heverlee Girl's School close by. In July 1946, the present cemetery was started and was used for burials brought in from a wide area round about.
The cemetery now contains 977 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 37 of them unidentified. There are also 29 First World War burials which were brought into the cemetery from Wetteren Communal Cemetery, Gouvy Churchyard, Linerle, Uccle Communal Cemetery, Boneffe Churchyard, Luttre Communal Cemetery, Anderlecht Communal Cemetery, Sclayn Communal Cemetery, Tubize Communal Cemetery and Gerozstein German Military Cemetery, where their security and maintenance could not be guaranteed.
In addition to the Commonwealth burials, the cemetery also contains the graves of one American and 11 Polish airmen.
The cemetery was designed by P.D. Hepworth.